New year, new teams: Germany

08.01.2024 - Germany

2024 promises exciting changes to the German beach volleyball landscape. Several duos that have thrilled their fans for years have parted ways. Some have already formed new partnerships and set the course for the coming season.

Julia Sude and Isabel Schneider also ended their partnership. The national team announced on Instagram that it had not lived up to its own standards since winning its debut tournament in Dubai 2022 and was now taking appropriate measures. Together with her long-time girlfriend Kira Walkenhorst, who is returning to the court after a one-year break due to injury, Schneider will mainly compete on the German Beach Tour in the 2024 beach season.

The young duo Maximilian Just and Lui Wüst, who have been a fixed duo since 2021, will start the 2024 season with new partners. Together, they secured fourth place at the Futures Event in Madrid last year and a silver medal at the U22 European Championships. At the end of October, Wüst announced his reunion with Philipp Huster, with whom he had already finished in the top 10 at the 2021 U19 and U21 World Championships.

Just, on the other hand, is forming a new duo with top blocker Robin Sowa, whose five-year partnership with Lukas Pfretzschner came to an end last year. Since then, Pfretzschner has been playing alongside Sven Winter, with whom he has finished in the top 10 at three different Challenger tournaments, most recently in Chiang Mai.

Sarah Schulz and Anna Grüne announced their separation in October last year. Schulz was German national champion in 2021 together with Chantal Laboureur and won the silver medal in 2023 with interim partner Anna Behlen. Both Schulz and Grüne will continue to play beach volleyball, but Schulz is retiring from international tournaments to devote more time to her studies and her family. Grüne has already announced her reunion with Chenoa Christ. The two had already formed a team in 2018 and won silver at the Baden Futures Event 2022, among others.

Beach legends Ludwig/Lippmann also saw a change. After parting ways with their head coach Martin Engvik in early 2023, Imornefe "Morph" Bowes took over on an interim basis. By the summer, however, he had already taken up his old position as national coach once again and became head coach of the German women. Back in 2019, he led Laura Ludwig and Margareta Kozuch to victory at the 2019 World Tour Finals and to fifth place at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Towards the end of the year, the duo then announced on Instagram that Simon Nausch, husband and coach of Czech player Markéta Slukova, would take over the coaching position in 2024. Particularly in light of the Olympic Games in Paris, he will ease the double burden between family and beach volleyball in the Ludwig/Bowes household. However, Morph will continue to support the duo in certain areas.